Today I have a special treat for you! One of my good blog friends, Emily, is going to tell you all about hos to find time to fit in all those fun DIY projects you’ve been putting off! I don’t know about y’all but I can already hear my scrapbooks screaming with excitement… I’m definitely going to use her tips!
Take it away, Emily!
Hey there, Happily Ever After, Etc. readers! I’m Emily from The Small Stuff Counts and I’m delighted that Betsy invited me over to chat with you today! If you visit my blog, it won’t take you long to figure out that I am obsessed with organization and time management. I’m always striving to find ways to squeeze a little more time out of my day for the things I enjoy.
I love working on decorating and DIY projects around the house, but it can be a challenge to find the time. Between my job, family, my blog and all the usual chores and errands, it often feels like I don’t have enough free time to even think about painting the kitchen or flipping my latest thrift store find. Do you feel the same way? Bursting with project ideas but little time to actually put them into action?
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If there are home projects you just can’t seem to find the time to tackle, creating a weekly routine will help. It may seem impossible, but there really is a way to carve out time to check some of those projects off of your to-do list. Most of us don’t have large amounts of free time to work on our homes (if only we did!), but I bet we can all find an hour each week. It may not seem like much, but those small chunks of time add up!
But how do you magically find that free hour in your week, you ask? The answer is to create a weekly routine that makes time for all of your responsibilities and commitments as well as all the fun stuff you want to do (like giving your bedroom that much-deserved makeover!).
A weekly routine is a plan of action that you can follow week after week. Of course, things come up and no two weeks are alike, but having a plan in place will give you something to work toward and help you stay on top of everything. That way you won’t let things slip through the cracks and you know you have time set aside for your favorite activities and hobbies.
Here’s how I like to go about creating my weekly routine:
1 | Brain Dump
Do a brain dump of all of the things that require your time. I like to brainstorm lists for each area of my life such as family, household, work, hobbies, health, etc. The goal is to get everything down on paper so you can be sure to include time for it all in your weekly routine.
2 | Schedule The Must-Dos
Assign every item from your brain dump a time slot on a weekly calendar. Start with tasks that happen at specific times such as work, school and meetings. Then add in sleep and decide what time you want to wake up and go to bed.
Next, block out time for daily and weekly tasks. These are things that you probably don’t normally put on your calendar, but I think it’s so important that you do! It’s easy to push off certain tasks until “later” and before we know it, things have piled up and gotten out of control. So I put time on my calendar for everything. For example, I sort through our mail and pay any bills every Sunday afternoon. It may seem silly to have fifteen minutes written into my schedule to sort my mail every week, but having that structure in place helps me stay organized and on top of things.
3 | Plan Time For The Extras
Now that you have time set aside for all of your must-dos, move onto the fun stuff! Allocate the free time left in your week to your DIY projects, hobbies, entertainment and goals.
For example, if you have a big room makeover you want to tackle, decide when you are going to work on it each week and write that time into your weekly routine. I generally have a lot of free time on Saturdays, so that’s when I have a few hours set aside to work on all of my home projects. Even if you only have an hour to spare one night a week after work, remember that that time will add up! You may not get your room makeover done in a few days like they do on all those HGTV shows, but let’s be honest – this is real life! The best way to accomplish your projects and goals is to routinely work on them week after week.
4 | Display Your New Routine
Once you’ve created a weekly routine, post it someplace where you can refer to it often like in your planner or on the fridge. Having it displayed where you will see it everyday will serve as a reminder to stick with it. Commit to following your new routine for a few weeks and see how it goes. You will probably find things to adjust as you start living it, but over time you will have a solid routine in place that ensures you have time in your week for everything you need to do.
Your week will certainly not go according to plan all of the time, and that’s okay! But creating a plan for your ideal week will give you a framework to follow and something to shoot for. When things get crazy and you get thrown off course, you can refer to your weekly routine and work to get back on track.
Spending some time up front to plan your ideal weekly routine will make things run so much more smoothly over the long run. It may not sound like much fun to have every minute of your weekly routine planned out, but I believe that there is freedom within structure. The more you design your schedule, the more intentional you will be with your time. If you don’t have a plan in place, you will struggle to use your time effectively.
By designing a weekly routine that accounts for all of your obligations plus the fun stuff (like DIY projects!), you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing there’s time to fit it all in. And the next time you spend all night choosing the perfect paint colors for your next room makeover, you won’t have to feel guilty about “wasting” that time when you should be doing something more important because you planned time for home projects into your weekly routine.
I could geek out about routines all day long, so I created an e-course to help you through the process. You can sign up for free here if you are interested. I also just published an entire ebook on the subject, Crush Your Week: The Complete Guide To Designing An Intentional Weekly Routine, and would love for you to check it out!
Thank you to Betsy for having me over today, and thank YOU for reading!
Emily Counts is the blogger behind The Small Stuff Counts, where she teaches her readers how to fuel their creativity, decorate their homes and organize their lives. When she’s not decorating and organizing everything in sight, she works as a marketing professional. She is a lifelong Iowan and currently resides in central Iowa with her husband.